Over the past two years, multiple studies have confirmed the importance of mobile marketing and the improved performance metrics of mobile versus other avenues of digital communication.
So why is it that mobile communications are able to yield such tremendous returns for marketers? It is because effective mobile campaigns allow you to speak to your guests personally, targeted to the right time with a sense of urgency when they are ready to book their accommodations; when they need helpful travel information; when they are likely to book additional products and services; and when they are most likely to give you that all important online review feedback.
Mobile Technologies To Become A Hotel’s Biggest Marketing Asset
Guest satisfaction has always been at the heart of any successful hospitality business. Happy guests are the biggest brand advocate you can have in spreading your word in person and online – and it’s free.
Today, mobile technologies open up major sales opportunities through enhancing service, improving quality, boosting your reputation and awareness and importantly delivering messages to your guests quickly and at unbeatable read rates.
A Time magazine mobility poll found that 68% of people sleep with their phone within an arm’s reach right next to their bed each night. Talk about advertising that has the potential to literally reach people around the clock. And 66% of those surveyed would actually forgo bringing their lunch to work if they had to choose between their phone and their lunch.
To say that mobile marketing has serious potential for hoteliers would be the understatement of the decade. Mobile commerce is set to revolutionize the way that guests engage with hotel brands, but marketers don’t seem to be putting it to good use yet. As a matter of fact, mobile is the most imbalanced medium when it comes to ad spending versus time spent at 1% compared to 23%. This is likely due to its rapid, seemingly overnight, rise to the limelight, and the fact that many marketers still haven’t gotten their heads wrapped around how to best utilize its immense potential.
The Critical Role Of Property Management System, Mobile Booking App and Mobile Messaging Application Integration
Many PMS software vendors have now integrated their platforms with mobile booking Apps to accommodate the enormous growth in mobile reservations. Likewise, both independent hotels and Groups who are serious about their marketing, have rolled out responsive websites to ensure their website responds to any device from smartphones, tablets and computers.
Few however, have made the critical step of bridging the gap between online and offline – the key uniting factor being mobile messaging. With easy Application Platform Integration (API) available, there is no reason for the majority of hotels to sync mobile messaging into their PMS, online and mobile booking systems and mobile messaging platforms into one simple and highly powerful sales and marketing machine.
Creating Remarkable Travel Experiences For Your Guests
With 90% of people never leaving home without their mobile phones, this almost always-on communication device enables hoteliers to deliver helpful information to reach your guests when they need it, where ever they are. What can hoteliers, large and small, do to tap into the evergreen mobile market?
The options are limitless and to really stand apart from the competition, hoteliers must aim for unique and engaging mobile strategies to win over new guests. Pre-guest arrival messages with exclusive spa offers, last minute upgrades, menus and dinner reservations are just a few things you can do to make your guest feel special even before they arrive.
In fact, providing coupons via text message can make offers more appealing for guests and more likely to be redeemed quickly. Recent data confirms that mobile offers are redeemed 8-10 times more than the same offer via email.
The capabilities of mobile don’t stop there. Here is just a short list of some of the standard plus more progressive, out of the box ways that mobile can be integrated into a hotel’s digital marketing strategy:
- VIP Text Club to receive exclusive offers promoted through point of sale to text a Shortcode in return for a “freebie”
- Mobile coupon promotions
- “Thank you for staying” messages with discount voucher for another booking
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Trip Advisor and OTA review prompts and incentives
- Recommend a friend vouchers
- “Text to Win” promotions
- Social and mobile integration – post a photo and get 25% of your next stay
- QVR promotions
- Pre-build mobile landing pages for menus, reservations and special offers
Win-Win Mobile Marketing Campaigns
To make the most of your mobile marketing campaigns you need to show a genuine interest in interacting with your guests. Text them a “thank you” for their stay and make sure they know that you appreciated their business. This is a great way to get them to share their holiday story on review and social sites simply by including a URL link in your text!
Try to further personalise the messaging by including a thank you note from an employee that interacted with your guest. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your mobile campaigns. Experimenting will help you to determine what exactly works the best for your resort.
Mobile is the ideal form of marketing for hoteliers not only because consumers carry their mobile devices everywhere all the time but also because it pairs extremely well with cross-platform solutions, both digital and traditional methods, for a comprehensive approach.
Using mobile technology to attach to every touch-point including website, blogs, social media sites as well as TV, radio, direct mail, and in-person events, marketers are able to create an opt-in database in a way that is seamless and non-intrusive.
All consumers will have the ability to choose what information they receive and through which mediums, making for a better guest experience and action-oriented results. All the data collected from each and every touch-point should be used to build an individual profile for each prospective guest so when marketers reach out to engage with them, they are able to use their name, geo-location, personal preferences, and historical behavior as a guide for personlised communications.
This is how mobile creates a win-win situation for hoteliers and guests alike.
The creative possibilities with mobile marketing and messaging are immense. Most of mobile marketing’s early adopters have already witnessed how mobile marketing can enhance their hotels awareness, improve guest relations and create engaged brand advocates.
Mobile marketing quickly caught fire, continues to rapidly evolve to become one of the most exciting and the most important digital media avenues for hotel marketers to pursue. It is the way we do business today and for the foreseeable future.
If you’re still not convinced here are a few essential (and surprising facts). You can also download the short and helpful e-guide “7 Smart Mobile Marketing Ideas for Hotels & Resorts: Can you win more bookings at less cost?”
10 Amazing Mobile Marketing Facts
- 91 percent of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach. (Source: Morgan Stanley). And that was as of 2007. I would wager the sum is closer to 100 percent now.
- In 2012 there are 6.8 billion people on the planet at present. 4 billion own mobile phones. (But only 3.5 million use a toothbrush!). Source: 60SecondMarketer.com. Imagine where the numbers are at today?
- Brands using SMS successfully reach 95 percent of smartphone and non-smartphone users. (Source: GoMoNews.com)
- 90 percent of text messages get read within 3 minutes of delivery. (Source: ImpigeMobileStrategy.com, 2011)
- Mobile coupons receive 10x higher redemption rates than print coupons. (Source: GoMobileBook.com)
- 33 percent of mobile users prefer offers via text to mobile Web (21 percent), Apps 11 percent and voice mail (8 percent). (Source: DMA.org). In addition, the cost of distributing text is much lower than building Apps and delivering voice to give a much better return on investment.
- According to a February 2013 report by Mobile Marketer, a full 42.3 percent of consumers prefer SMS deals versus bar-code scans or push message coupons. Surprised?
- 50 percent of survey respondents report responding to a text offer. Of that same group, 32 percent have scanned a coupon via a QR code. (Source: Marketingcharts.com)
- 50 percent of smartphone users had scanned a QR code and 18 percent had purchased afterwards. Is that still true? According to a Mad Mobile News report on October 30, 2013, QR codes lost popularity after their inception but are currently thriving again, with 40 percent of smartphone users currently reporting they’d scanned a code and purchased afterwards, boding well for holiday shopping strategies at the close of 2013.
- 16 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase because of a marketing message they received on a phone. And half of those who purchased made the purchase from the smartphone itself. (Source: ExactTarget.com)